How to get Acid to accept multiple instances of a VSTi plugin

Stephen-Maddison wrote on 12/1/2022, 1:19 PM

Still struggling with ACID Pro 10. I am trying to create multiple instances of a soft synth on different midi tracks. Inserting a midi track and routing my midi controller to a soft synth (e.g. Arturia's Pigments) works OK. If I add another midi track and try to insert another instance of the soft synth, Acid simply reverts to the first instance on all midi tracks. The two instances show up in the list of soft synths, but selecting the second instance on any track simply does not work. If I have a lead section on the first instance, and try to add, for example, a percussion or bass on the second instance, all instances play the same sound, either all tracks are playing the lead, or all tracks are playing the (e.g.) bass. What am I (or Acid) doing wrong? Acid manual of no help at all with this.


emmrecs wrote on 12/1/2022, 4:44 PM


I am not an Acid user so my apologies if this suggestion is inappropriate for you, but, as a general rule when using multiple VSTis on multiple tracks or the same VSTi on multiple tracks, the most important setting is that each track must be transmitting data on a different MIDI channel​​​​​​.


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sheppo wrote on 12/5/2022, 3:02 AM

hi @Stephen-Maddison, When added second and subsequent midi tracks they route by default to the same midi bus, and therefore soft synth as the first midi track. You need to tell subsequent midi tracks to use a different synth.

On the second midi track right click on the midi channel controls. Select Output->Insert Soft Synth->Select the new instrument.

if you have buses visible (b key), you will see that a new midi bus is added when doing this.

Stephen-Maddison wrote on 12/6/2022, 12:23 PM


Thanks for your comment.

I was aware of the situation that you describe. What I am discovering is that some VSTs just don't play well with ACID. The Spitfire Labs player, for example, works fine if it is the only synth in use, but does not seem to work at all if there is already a synth on a different bus.

It is also my experience that ACID sometimes works with MIDI and sometimes, doing exactly the same thing, it does not. I have no idea what differentiates these two conditions but it does make for a very frustrating recording session.

My feeling is that, having used ACID for years as a loop-based DAW, I need to graduate to a grown-up DAW like CUBASE (as I do a certain amount of film scoring) which, with my limited exposure to it, seems to be a lot more useable with MIDI (as is just about any other DAW than ACID).

Thanks for your help. I don't know how you put up wtth ACID's foibles and idiosyncracies. As a matter of interest, do you use other DAWs? I would be interested in your experience.


sheppo wrote on 12/6/2022, 3:42 PM

@Stephen-Maddison - yes, I use other DAWs. I have Ableton Live, Renoise, and Reason Studio (although my sub for that has just lapsed and I probably wont renew it), and switch and change between them based on what I'm working on. I've been contemplating trying Cubase and/or Bitwig too.

> I don't know how you put up wtth ACID's foibles and idiosyncracies

Hah, well, I stick to what it's good at, which is, as you say, loop-based work, which I still think it excels at. I have far more luck beat mapping in Acid with it's decades old way of doing things compared to Ableton. Through the use of Waves' Studio Rack I've basically got Acid to the point where it's..... *deep breath*.... I know people are gonna laugh at this.... but it's at least as stable as Ableton. If not more so. Shame it takes the use of a third-party VST host to get there, but it works and it's free, so. Just a shame Studio Rack doesn't support virtual instruments.

If I'm making a track from scratch I tend to compose it in Renoise, then arrange and produce it in Ableton.

I may be a moderator, but I'm not a 100% acid head :D

I've not used Spitfire Audio's plugins, unfortunately, so I can't tell you if there's any tricks to getting it working. Those tricks are typically use a VSTi compatible plugin host, such as DDMF's metaplugin or super plugin. Those aren't free, and I suspect your money would definitely be better served investing in a more industry standard DAW.

Best of luck.

Stephen-Maddison wrote on 12/9/2022, 10:49 AM

Thanks for the comprehensive reply. I have dabbled with Ableton but it is not so good for film scoring, which is what I am about, at least for the moment.

My problems with Acid revolve, as you note, around its MIDI handling. Following your earlier comment I have found the following.

1 It works better if I do not specify an input device, just leave it defaulting to "All". This works for multiple midi tracks with different synths on each track, even when I am using the same midi keyboard for all of them!

2 Acid seems to have a real problem with VST3. Many of my VST3 plugins don't work at first. The one that always does is a freebie called "Helm". Once I start this up, I can switch to another VST3 which now works!

3 The Spitfire Labs plugin is supplied as a 64 bit (VST2, I assume) which works much better than the VST3 version. I have finally figured out a way to get this to work in ACID the way I want it to. I have not yet tried the plugin hosts you mention, though I might yet do so. More likely I will invest in CUBASE as a Xmas present to myself.

Thanks again for your excellent advice. Cheers!